Race In The Context Of Reading And

Writing Essay, Research Paper

Race In the Context of Reading and Writing

Hurston is saying in effect, I am colored but I am different from other members of my race in that I am not different from my race ( Race, Reading, and Difference 319).

The word race when brought to mind can either divide us as a people or unite us. It can distinguish the different divisions of humankind by such differences as skin color, geographical region, or grouping or it can unite us as a single people, a single race; the human race. If taken in context from the above quote by Zora Neale Hurston in Barbara Johnson s essay Thresholds of Difference from Race, Reading, and Difference, we see both meanings present in the same sentence. In effect, we have Zora telling us what it is like to be colored, while at the same time saying what it is like to be her.

As race first appears in the quote it is used not only to divide the populace by color, but also to set those of the same color apart from Hurston. Here we have a very strong distinction between black and white. Hurston states that those who share her race or her color purposely separate themselves from society because they see themselves as different. She then goes on to state that she is unlike that society because she does not see herself as different, she does not purposely set herself apart. She alienates herself from her race.

The next time race appears it is used in a unifying context. She identifies herself with mankind. Hurston may be an outcast in her society, but she is still human, she is still apart of the overall human race.

Hurston s different uses of the word race, as taken from Barbara Johnson s essay, Threshold of Difference, divide as well as unit, while at the same time give us insight into the life of Hurston. Although one use of the word may be more prominent in our minds, it is important to note the differences as it is used in context. It is our duty as the reader to fully understand what we are reading and so it is important to note the differences between what the author has said and what author is saying.


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